On "Kashmir: The Old Problem Intensified"

I. Mallikarjuna Sharma

I regret that many important facets of the problem are overlooked. Especially Kashmir is still an existing international dispute - the India-Pakistan Problem - in the United Nations with more than one security council resolutions demanding plebiscite, curiously agreed to by both India and Pakistan every time, but never implemented. The main fault is with India in this regard.

Even a United Nations Military Observers Group is there with headquarters now in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, because India some decades back drove them out but Pakistan is allowing them but with the proviso "You can go and inquire anywhere if India also agrees on its side"! So in effect, rendered useless.

It is akin to Palestinian problem in the United Nations and the UN Security Council may at any time revive it in all its intensity. We have no big power to veto for us this time.

There is a total lock-down in the valley and I call it an undeclared martial law. How Indian "democracy" permits this in this fanatic manner is baffling.

In my opinion, there is no other solution except partitioning Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan and I think any sane Pakistani government will agree to it in course. Already we have wasted lakhs of crores on this 'accursed' land and still wasting much more. I advocate a sort of regional or zonal plebiscite - with first a Temple Amarnath district carved out in Kashmir Valley and joined to Jammu. If Pakistan does not agree we ourselves can conduct it with international observers in the territories under our control and simply leave the territories rejecting joining Indian Union to their own skeleton government, with no more commitments to aid or support those in anyway thereafter. [I may remind that a sort of plebiscite was conducted when we snatched back Junagadh from Pakistan in 1947-48 and curiously it is also a part of the India-Pakistan Dispute - raised by the counter-claim of Pakistan - in the UN Security Council].

But the best thing will be to negotiate and come to a settlement with Pakistan. Actually Vajpayee was willing to come to a lasting accord (paving way for further agreements) with Pakistan (Musharraf) at Agra, but the old fox Advani, and the fanatics in BJP, prevented all those peace prospects.

Pending that the 'status quo ante' as on 4 August 2019 has to be restored in Jammu and Kashmir. The bifurcation and the presidential notifications under Article 370 paving way for that bifurcation act are at once quite unjust, unconstitutional and not only affect Kashmir's autonomy but are a big blow at the federal features of the Constitution itself. [As many wrongly think, Article 370 is scrapped. No, it is not; but is rendered ineffective by presidential notifications under the same Article 370, which are at once unconstitutional and destructive of the basic structure of our constitution too). Any sane Supreme Court Judge should not take more than five minutes to first stay that Act and later he has to strike it down. But, sadly, sanity and sincerity are not the virtues in our country - especially with authorities in any branch of the State apparatus.

- I. Mallikarjuna Sharma, Advocate, Editor, LAW ANIMATED WORLD, Hyderabad.

Sep 3, 2019

I. Mallikarjuna Sharma

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